Taijuan Walker wasn’t thrilled with his first rehab start

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Taijuan Walker made his first minor-league rehab start last night as he comes back from a shoulder injury and the Mariners rookie wasn’t thrilled with his performance against Triple-A hitters.

Walker allowed four runs in three innings, including back-to-back homers, and afterward told Adam Lewis of MLB.com that he was “disappointed” by the outing. However, the good (and probably more important) news is that Walker also said his shoulder felt healthy after throwing 61 pitches in his first game action since mid-April.

Considering fellow rehabbing Seattle rookie starter James Paxton just had to shut down his recovery due to more arm problems the fact that Walker is problem-free definitely qualifies as positive news. There’s no official timetable yet for his return to the Mariners, but so far so good.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.